GW precision machining facility one-of-a-kind in state, governor says

GW precision machining facility one-of-a-kind in state, governor says

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, along with Danville government and education leaders and dozens of high school students, participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for George Washington High School’s new precision machining program Thursday.

“This is the only facility like it in the commonwealth of Virginia,” McAuliffe said in a speech beforehand. “No other high school has anything like it.”

Along with Danville City Council and Danville School Board members, the machining program’s first class of nine students sat in the front row while McAuliffe introduced the program. Before the speeches, the students showed off the practice area and classrooms in the new facility, which included dozens of shiny aluminum machines the size of office desks, a computer lab with dozens of computers and a classroom.

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Commonwealth of Virginia Creates New Workforce

Commonwealth of Virginia Creates New Workforce

Southeast Manufacturing News featured an article on Virginia's workforce development program in the August 2017 issue.

View the virtual edition.

 

Hiring, Training and Supporting the Workforce in School and on the Job

Hiring, Training and Supporting the Workforce in School and on the Job

Virginia’s Rolls-Royce Crosspointe plant shares its strategies for attracting, hiring and supporting its workers, while Danville Community College excels with its integrated machining education model.

Photo: This worktable demonstrates some of the more interesting parts students are tasked with machining in the Gene Haas Center. Rather than take contracts from customers, the program focuses on giving students work that ensures that they leave with core competencies in milling, grinding, EDM, tool presetting and metrology.

A recurring topic of discussion during my recent trip touring Virginian manufacturing facilities was labor: finding it, hiring it, training it. For some manufacturers, the local reality is that there are not enough already-skilled people looking for work. Hiring under these circumstances entails offering access to technical education of some kind, or a lot of on-the-job training. On the other hand, some other manufacturers have been able to partner with local higher-education institutions in order to establish “pipelines” of people with the skills necessary to begin work with less additional training.

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Improvement Versus Reinvention: Impressions from Virginia

Improvement Versus Reinvention: Impressions from Virginia

A three-day journey through Virginia shows advanced manufacturing’s concern with pursuing lean principles when facing challenges rooted in the past and arriving on the horizon.

Photo: An employee at TMI Autotech looks over a part drawing in the facility’s machine shop. The company is increasingly being asked to machine small batches of parts for clients such as those that supply TMI with car components.

Amid reassurances from our hosts that Virginia’s weather isn’t usually overcast, rainy and chilly in the middle of May, I and three other media guests traveled town to town for three days visiting, all in all, 10 manufacturers, industry education institutes and R&D campuses. Our ebullient hosts from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) drove our party across the leafy (and yes, wet) hills and valleys of central and southern Virginia to meet manufacturers which, despite their various industries and end markets, nevertheless shared some common concerns: finding and training skilled labor, and pursuing lean principles in the face of challenges both rooted in the past and looming on the horizon.

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Purchase agreement signed for $100 million project at Berry Hill Industrial Park

Purchase agreement signed for $100 million project at Berry Hill Industrial Park

A second business has signed a purchase agreement for acreage in the Berry Hill Industrial Park, the Regional Industrial Facility Authority announced at a meeting Monday.

Enviva Development Holdings LLC has signed an agreement to buy a 168-acre tract along Berry Hill Road. The company will conduct due diligence on the site — investigations into the suitability of the site for the project — over the next year, with the right to extend the agreement or terminate it without penalty.

It is expected the company, founded in 2004, will invest more than $100 million in the project and create indirect and direct above-average paying jobs, according to Jesse Barksdale, vice chairman of RIFA.

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DCC ‘Cyber Team’ honored at national summit

DCC ‘Cyber Team’ honored at national summit

The Danville Community College “Cyber Team” was honored Wednesday at the National Cyber Security Summit in Huntsville, Alabama.

DCC’s cyber security and cyber crime programs were recognized for earning the Center of Academic Excellence in Two-Year Education (CAE2Y) designation from the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security earlier this year.

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Noblis renews commitment to Danville, intends to increase personnel

Noblis renews commitment to Danville, intends to increase personnel

The Noblis Center for Applied High Performance Computing — a high-tech supercomputer company at 527 Bridge St. — announced Monday it has signed a second five-year lease to continue doing business in Danville.

The company plans to install the next generation of big data processors to work alongside the Cray MXT 2 that was activated at the site in 2012.

Brent Gulick — who represented Cray Computers and helped when Noblis brought the supercomputer to Danville — said Cray and Noblis knew they needed partners to help with the project, the brainchild of Dr. H. Gilbert Miller, Noblis’s chief information officer at the time.

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Institute debuts new Inspiration Lab

Institute debuts new Inspiration Lab

Danville’s Institute for Advanced Learning and Research unveiled a new mobile lab Thursday morning, which Don Merricks, chairman of the Institute’s board of trustees, hopes will be a “game changer for the whole region.”

The mobile lab serves eight localities in the Dan River Region encompassing more than 4,000 square miles.

The Inspiration Lab will replace the old mobile lab, which will be used by Patrick Henry Community College, according to Julie Brown, director of advanced learning at the Institute. The mobile lab has travelled more than 60,000 miles over the last seven years, according to Merricks, and served more than 52,000 people.

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McAuliffe highlights solar project; urges localities to get serious about alternative energy

McAuliffe highlights solar project; urges localities to get serious about alternative energy

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe applauded a Dan River Region solar energy project and said Virginia needs to get serious about alternative energy if it wants to attract large tech companies and other employers during an energy roundtable discussion Tuesday in Danville.

“We’ve got to get our heads out of the sand on this issue,” McAuliffe said.

At the roundtable meeting — which included leaders from Danville Utilities, the city of Danville, Pittsylvania County and others — McAuliffe announced the Kentuck Solar project solar farm will begin construction in August.

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Ground broken on rural internet project in Pittsylvania County

Ground broken on rural internet project in Pittsylvania County

BLAIRS — Work has officially begun on a rural internet project in Pittsylvania County after a groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning at the base of White Oak Mountain.

Pittsylvania County Economic Development Director Matt Rowe hosted the groundbreaking next to Bojangles on U.S. 29 in Blairs.

“Rural internet availability is a priority for Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors,” Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bob Warren said. “Today’s groundbreaking is not only the beginning of fiber construction, it’s for the new jobs and investments that will be made in the rural areas of the county due to improved internet services.”

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